Housing Answers the Call

Housing Answers the Call

Looking back, American production housing has responded to the times. Whether it was war, recession, urban flight, energy shortages, or consumers’ desire for more space, the industry always has provided adaptable, sustainable, and affordable solutions. Click through the timeline below to take a decade-by-decade tour of our top choices for how housing was influenced and inspired by major events. From 1920-2020, A Timeline of The Production House

1920s – Sears Catalog Houses

Major Event Post World War I prosperity
Original Price $191 (The Natoma) to $5,972 (The Magnolia)
Intended Buyers Americans with various budgets
Geographic Area National (with large concentrations in Arlington, Va., the Chicago area, and Cincinnati)
Designer/Developer Frank W. Kushel suggested the idea for Sears, though Ernest Hodgson of Dover, Mass., is said to have developed the concept, according to The Washington Post
Styles/Floor Plans 447
How They Broke Ground Sears’ kit houses were one of the first mass-produced “production” homes (shipped via railroad). Sears (and other manufacturers) shipped these homes in tens of thousands of factory fitted parts (beams, flooring, walls, and even nails) to the home buyer, who either hired a contractor or relied on neighbors to construct the home. While the program (which offered financing), was the first to offer mass-produced, affordable homeownership to Americans, it also pushed the technological envelope with central plumbing, indoor plumbing, and electricity.

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